So, my latest little health kick is smoothies for breakfast and lunch. I am not sure how long this will last, as anybody who knows me will tell you - I am the kind of person where nothing seems to last for long! I get an idea in my head, it is the best thing since sliced bread for a short period of time, and then it is all over just as quick! For many years this made me feel like I was a failure as I never seemed to see things through to the end, but as I have got older I have come to the conclusion that that is just me. I am an indecisive and impulsive person.
Back to the topic of conversation! (As you will also have seen from my posts, I also tend to go off on little random rants - just another of my many personality traits!).
After hearing colleagues at work talk religiously about juicing, it got my wondering what is the difference between juicing and blending and what are the health benefits of both. It got me doing a little research and these are my findings that I thought I would share with you.
When juicing a machine extracts the juice - the nutrients contained in the product and water. leaving behind the pulp.
When blending there is no left over pulp, the blender pulverizes the whole product to make a smoothie.
It got me wanting to know which is better for you, to have just the juice or to have the whole product including the pulp. Both allow a higher intake of fresh produce in our diet, a lot more than we would ever normally consume on a daily basis.
Juicing discards the indigestible fibre in the produce meaning that the digestive system does not have to work as hard to absorb nutrients and break down the food. The nutrients in the produce are more readily available to the body and in larger quantities than if you were to eat whole foods. Fibre in produce slows the digestive process and gives a steady release of nutrients in the body.
Whilst getting a high intake of nutrients, removing the fibre from the produce may mean that you become hungrier quicker.
Blending/smoothies consist of the whole product - skin and all. The blending process breaks down the fibre in the produce making it much easier to digest than in normal daily consumption. It also gives a slow release of nutrients leaving you feeling much fuller than if you were having a juice only diet. The disadvantage of a smoothie compared to juicing is that you cannot pack as many servings f fruit and veg in as the volume increases significantly.
For me, blending is the best option. The main reason being that I do not have a juicing machine and I already own a blender. Also because I think that it is the quickest method. However, my recent blending has not proved quite as successful as I would have liked it to be as I have discovered that juice or smoothies should be consumed within fifteen minutes as the air and light damages the nutrients in the produce. I have been making smoothies in the morning and having one for breakfast and taking one in an airtight container to work with me for my lunch.
The one thing that I am struggling with is a green smoothie. There are so many recipes online containing many weird and wonderful produce (some I might add that I have never even heard of!) that I do not know what to opt for, partly in fear of not knowing what I will and won't like and not wanting to spend a fortune on fresh produce that will end up in the bin.
Have any of you lovely lot got any healthy smoothies recipes that you would recommend? I would be most grateful if you would be kind enough to share any tips/advice that you may have. I would like to make this a permanent lifestyle change as opposed to another "fad" diet and would really appreciate any pointers.